It’s not enough, dad

A new American Time Use Survey shows that men are doing more around the house, but in most cases not nearly enough.images-2

Dads devote more time to caring for children and keeping up the house than they did decades ago, reports today’s Los Angeles Times: ” They spend almost as much time as moms romping with kids in the yard or on the rug. But as dads step up, moms are still wiped out.

“Whether at work or at home — and even at leisure — mothers feel more exhausted than fathers, a study shows. Despite strides toward gender equality, mothers still shoulder much more work at home, especially when it comes to humdrum tasks such as changing diapers and doing the laundry, the Pew Research Center found in the study based on the American Time Use Survey.

“Dads spend almost the same amount of time as moms in terms of playing with kids,” Pew research associate Wendy Wang said. “But they do less in other areas of child care.”

‘For instance, mothers logged more than twice as much time doing “physical care,” such as changing diapers or tending to sick kids. That could be one reason dads find child care less tiring than moms do: Mothers are more than twice as likely as fathers to feel “very tired” during child care.

“Mothers also did more cooking and cleaning, while fathers did more household repairs and maintenance, such as mowing the lawn. All in all, American moms still spend almost twice as many hours on housework and child care, on average, than dads do. Fathers, in turn, spend much more time at work outside the home than mothers do.

“Earlier rounds of the survey, sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, yielded estimates on how Americans spent their time. But the 2010 survey, which included more than 4,800 parents, was the first to ask how people felt during different activities. For Rosie Arroyo-Carmona, the schedule starts at 5:30 a.m. and doesn’t end until 11:30 p.m. or midnight, she said. The Burbank mom and her husband both juggle jobs in the nonprofit sector with caring for their baby daughter. Because her husband travels more than she does, Arroyo-Carmona often takes charge of feeding and bathing the baby. After the baby falls asleep, she puts in another few hours working from home. When a bit of free time arises, “I think that I could get something done, or I could get some rest,” Arroyo-Carmona said. “I always choose to check something off my list.” Two years ago, a Boston College survey of mostly white-collar fathers found that although nearly two-thirds said spouses should split child care equally, only 30% said it actually was divided that way in their homes. Even when parents try to share work equally, many moms say they end up doing more.

“I get less sleep because the kids call for me at night when they wake up,” said Mari Saso-Howe, who runs a printing business out of her home with her husband. They divide up child care during the day, “but extremely sleepy children can’t be reasoned with.” Despite their exhaustion, moms were more likely than dads to say they felt happy while caring for their children. Both moms and dads said child care was much more meaningful for them than other work, with parents calling 62% of child-care activities “very meaningful,” versus 36% for activities at work. Women were also more likely than men to say that housework was meaningful for them. Scholars say that despite seismic shifts in family life, mothers still seem to feel their identity is more bound up with the home: Research by Darby Saxbe, now an assistant professor of psychology at USC, found that women who talked about their homes as cluttered or chaotic tended to have less healthy patterns of the stress hormone cortisol, a link she didn’t find in men.”

 

More at: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-exhausted-moms-20131009,0,432252.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Fnationworld%2Fnation+%28L.A.+Times+-+National+News%29

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